The recent shootings in Connecticut have stirred the United States citizens into a froth-mouthed diatribe against gun ownership, yet evidence is emerging that the real culprit contributing to such indescribable acts of insanity as perpetuated by people like Adam Lanza may lie in the pervasive culture of violence that is the mainstay of our entertainment industry.

Today’s report in The Daily Mail indicates that Lanza spent a good portion of his life playing violent shooter video games like the enormously successful “Call of Duty.” Games such as this, which include other franchise moneymakers like “Halo,” accounted for $10.5 billion dollar revenues in 2009, according to statistics provided by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. But that figure pales in comparison to the 2012 statistics of $24.75 billion in overall consumer spending. When we compare those figures to the national sales statistics for guns and ammo estimated at $6 billion a year, we can surmise that the political plan of attack on gun ownership going on in Washington D.C. right now is being conducted as an economic choice rather than a practical one.

Given that the entertainment industry as a whole has been far more financially supportive of the Democratic political party and Obama’s administration in general than the American gun lobby, there is little mystery where the White House is apt to apply political pressure to satisfy a nation that demands a response to such acts as the violence in Newtown. And while the nation seeks to demonize gun ownership, it has systematically failed to address the far more dangerous and overreaching affects of mental conditioning that violent video games and movies have on people, especially its youth.

The Daily Mail article elaborates on not only Adam Lanza’s preoccupation with violent, first-person shooter games like “Call of Duty,” but that the popular online game was played by other progenitors of senseless attacks, as in the case of Brevik in Norway.

When one considers the psychological implications of extended exposure to realistic violence these games provide, it fathoms a reasonable conscience that wonders why more isn’t done to call the entertainment industry to the carpet for perpetuating our nation’s, and by default, the world’s preoccupation with a culture of violence.

The simple equation is guns don’t shoot themselves. And the mental condition necessary to conduct such a heinous act as Lanza’s can only be manipulated by extreme conditions of brainwashing. Given the hour-after-hour addict behavior of devoted gamers, it proposes little other explanation for how someone like Lanza can be driven to a state of complete psychotic break necessary to conduct such a heinous act of shooting defenseless six-year-olds.

The concern is not limited to video games. Our film industry churns out violent after ever-increasingly violent movies at such an alarming rate that the standards we have for ourselves of what we deem acceptable entertainment have fallen to levels we used to associate with corrupt societies such as Caligula’s Rome or Vlad the Impaler’s reign of terror. When one adds the glorification of the U.S. soldier to the equation and the mainstream media’s devotion to selling us violence as a news product to the mix, it becomes even more acknowledgeable that the culture of violence we are instigating has sunk beneath the surface of our capacity to recognize it. Until we are ready to say all killing is wrong, we will continue to maintain confused and diametrically opposed policies of belief that allows for both the demonization of Lanza and the promotion of assassin drones. The other day a total of ten young girls were killed in Afghanistan by a land mine, yet no one is shaking their fist at the military industrial complex that provided the device.

But as a nation we are hesitant to raise voices against any faction of the entertainment industry, based upon a precedent of protecting first amendment rights in the U.S. Constitution. And though the argument is valid that freedom of speech deserves protection, we cannot turn a blind eye to the realities that such in-depth and overstimulated experiences of violent horror in these shooter games are not turning us into a nation of zombie killers. What we expose ourselves too, we become. If we spend countless hours shooting people in a virtual reality, the extension to living that reality in the physical world becomes more and more viable.

The answer to the question “What shall we do to protect our children” raised by President Obama is clear. We should boycott violent video games and movies. Mandating a political act will not solve the problem, and taking guns away from responsible gun owners isn’t going to make any real peace in this country. Our freedoms should not, need not be assailed. Only the free market choice of what consumers participate in will make any real difference. We must focus our efforts, our mindsets, our valuable engagement of attention on peace and love, because whatever we spend time thinking about, we become.

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